Suburban Small Seven Preview

By Dion Clisso PrepsKC Managing Editor
Posted: August 13, 2015 - 10:15 AM



Fort Osage

Head Coach: Ryan Schartz, 11th season

2014 record (overall/conference): 12-1/6-0

Returning Starters (Off/Def): 6/8

Biggest Challenge: The Indians return a number of starters from last year’s team but key injuries have popped up right before the season. Fort Osage has been a relatively deep team the last few seasons but that depth could be tested early in the year.

Outlook: Fort Osage returns perhaps the best quarterback in the Metro in Skylar Thompson. The senior has size, a big arm and is an outstanding runner. The Indians have been knocking on the door of a title for a long time and this could be the year they kick it down.

Coach’s thoughts: “I like our experience. I like our senior class. We have 30 plus seniors that have been in our program for a long time and have played together for a long time. We have many kids returning and many played as sophomores. We’ve got two kids that got minutes in the state championship game in 2012. It’s nice to have that experience back, nice to have that leadership back and I’ve been seeing these guys lead all summer long.”

2015 Schedule:
8/21 Raytown South
8/28 @ Blue Springs
9/4 Lee’s Summit
9/11 North Kansas City
9/18 @ Staley
9/25 William Chrisman
10/2 @ Oak Park
10/9 Liberty North
10/16 @ Raytown

Liberty North

Head Coach: Ken Clemens, 6th season

2014 record (overall/conference): 8-5/4-2

Returning Starters (Off/Def): 5/5

Biggest Challenge: The Eagles come into the season with a good group returning. The big question for them as they get ready for regular season play is how this team will match up in a tough conference and with some very good teams in the non-conference schedule.

Outlook: In five short seasons Liberty North has gone from beginning to one of the better and most consistent programs in the Metro. The Eagles spent their first four years in Class 4 making it to the semifinals in their final year. In the first year in Class 5 not much changed as North advanced to the district title game where it fell to an undefeated Park Hill. The Eagles are definitely a team to watch as this season goes on.

Coach’s thoughts: “I like the fact that every day on the practice field we are practicing to get better. As far as that is concerned it is probably the best team I’ve had in terms of every day out there with a purpose.”

2015 Schedule:
8/21 @ Raytown
8/28 Blue Springs South
9/4 @ Kearney
9/10 Staley
9/18 @ Grandview
9/25 @ Oak Park
10/2 William Chrisman
10/9 @ Fort Osage
10/16 North Kansas City

North Kansas City

Head Coach: Leon Douglas, 5th season

2014 record (overall/conference): 1-9/1-5

Returning Starters (Off/Def): 6/7

Biggest Challenge: The Hornets had a step back year last season but there is talent returning. That early goal is to find confidence in their abilities that will help them compete week in, week out.

Outlook: North Kansas City has a good combination of talent and experience. It’s been a good offseason and now the Hornets must put it all together to take that step forward. If they can get some early wins the confidence should grow and it could be a bounce back season.

Coach’s thoughts: “This group’s comradery among each other is very high. I think this is a group that understands where their strength comes from and that’s the pack. This is a group that has invested a lot in not only this summer but this winter. It’s a group that is fun to coach. They’ve done a great job as far as competing and challenging each other and bonding together and becoming a team over the last few weeks.”

2015 Schedule:
8/21 @ St. Joseph Lafayette
8/28 Belton
9/4 Lee’s Summit North
9/11 @ Fort Osage
9/18 @ William Chrisman
9/25 Staley
10/2 @ Raytown
10/9 Oak Park
10/16 @ Liberty North

Oak Park

Head Coach: Kevin Keeton, 2nd season

2014 record (overall/conference): 3-7/2-4

Returning Starters (Off/Def): 5/7

Biggest Challenge: After lots of struggles over the last few years the Northmen showed some progress last season. Oak Park has players putting in the work and are committed and the next step in the process is having one group of players with the same mindset all of the time.

Outlook: It’s been a tough road for the once proud program but signs of change are all around. The numbers are better and the players have bought into the program of second year Head Coach Kevin Keeton and his staff. The Northmen have started to compete more now more wins might be on the horizon.

Coach’s thoughts: “It’s a process and we are in no way shape or form have we arrived but it has been fun to see the growth that has taken place over the last year. It’s two steps forward one step back but if you can get a little perspective and see it from 365 it’s been a lot of fun to be a part of.”

2015 Schedule:
8/21 @ Winnetonka
8/28 Grandview
9/4 @ Raytown
9/11 William Chrisman
9/18 @ Belton
9/25 Liberty North
10/2 Fort Osage
10/9 @ North Kansas City
10/16 Staley

Raytown

Head Coach: Kevin Page, 8th season

2014 record (overall/conference): 3-8/2-4

Returning Starters (Off/Def): 6/6

Biggest Challenge: Raytown has long had good athletes and can match those athletes with almost every team on its schedule. This season the Bluejays are looking to play more physical to fully compete week in week out within their conference and during non-conference games as well.

Outlook: A good group of returning starters is back so experience isn’t a problem. Raytown is looking to be the next team to take a big step forward and climb to the top half of the Suburban Middle Seven and work towards a winning record.

Coach’s thoughts: “I like how this team is gelling together. I really think they came into the offseason with a mentality that we as a group have something to prove to people in our conference and people in our town. It’s kind of nice to take on the responsibility. It’s their responsibility to do themselves and do a good job on Friday nights and show the city we are ready to take a step forward.”

2015 Schedule:
8/21 Liberty North
8/28 @ William Chrisman
9/4 Oak Park
9/11 @ Winnetonka
9/18 @ Raytown South
9/25 @ Blue Springs South
10/2 North Kansas City
10/9 @ Staley
10/16 Fort Osage

Staley

Head Coach: Fred Bouchard, 8th season

2014 record (overall/conference): 8-3/5-1

Returning Starters (Off/Def): 6/7

Biggest Challenge: The Falcons open the season with Blue Springs and Raymore-Peculiar which could be one of the toughest opening stretches in the Metro. Last year Staley split those two and a split again this year could bode well for the rest of the season.

Outlook: The Falcons return several key linemen and a lot of their production at running back. The offense should be solid and dangerous with big plays. The defense is mostly in tact so there shouldn’t be too much learning on the job to start the season. Most years Staley is a team to watch come playoff time and this year shouldn’t be any different.”

Coach’s thoughts: “We’ve got a lot of guys that have played quite a bit of football for a few years. It just seems like a couple of years ago this group of seniors a lot of them as sophomores were able to contribute in a lot of different ways if not as full-fledged starters. I think some of that experience coming back it’s one of those things that makes you a little hopeful maybe a shade comfortable as you head into these last weeks of preparation.”

2015 Schedule:
8/21 Blue Springs
8/28 @ Raymore-Peculiar
9/4 William Chrisman
9/11 @ Liberty North
9/18 Fort Osage
9/25 @ North Kansas City
10/2 @ Mill Valley
10/9 Raytown
10/16 @ Oak Park

William Chrisman

Head Coach: Scorpio Horn, 2nd season

2014 record (overall/conference):

Returning Starters (Off/Def): 5/4

Biggest Challenge: Chrisman is again young and many underclassmen will see playing time this year. One of the consistent struggles of the program over the years is overall numbers. This season is a little bit better but the Bears depth will be something that could be tested.

Outlook: It’s the second year for Head Coach Scorpio Horn and the team had a good offseason. The Bears have been working hard and the coaching staff gained a lot of depth when former Olathe East coach Jeff Myers came over as an assistant. The program is growing and a finding a way to compete each week is a big goal this season. If that can happen Chrisman will have taken a big step forward in 2015.

Coach’s thoughts: “They (the team) work hard. They are sold out on working hard and being physical. Mentally and emotionally and in the weight room, running, it’s a good group. There’s not a lot of them, but it’s a good group. The group we have is a good group. That’s motivational to me because last year we came in and we just couldn’t get that group to do the things we needed them to do but this year the kids have bought in and are working their tails off.”

2015 Schedule:
8/21 Platte County
8/28 Raytown
9/4 @ Staley
9/11 @ Oak Park
9/18 North Kansas City
9/25 @ Fort Osage
10/2 @ Liberty North
10/9 Truman
10/16 @ Van Horn